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Marriage: How a Name Change Impacts Taxes

| August 01, 2017
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A name change can have a huge impact on taxes. All the names on a taxpayer's tax return must match Social Security Administration records. A name mismatch can delay a tax refund. Here's what you should do to avoid the delay of filing your tax return if you change your last name:

  • Report your name change: Have you gotten married and now use a new spouse's last name? Do you hyphenate your name? Have you gone through a divorce and are now back to using your former last name? In either case, taxpayers should notify the SSA of a name change, that way the new name on IRS records will match the SSA records.

  • Making Dependent's Name Change: Notify the SSA if a dependent has had a name change. For example, if a taxpayer adopted a child and the child's last name changed. If the child does not have a Social Security number, the taxpayer may use an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number on their tax return. An ATIN is a temporary number. Apply for an ATIN by filing Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions, with the IRS. Visit to get the form.

  • Getting a new SS Card. File Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. The form is on or by calling 800-772-1213. The taxpayer's new card will reflect the name change.

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